Detective Pikachu™ Returns

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The Return of the Famed Detective Pikachu™

When Detective Pikachu™ first landed on the 3DS in 2016, it was a breath of fresh air for the Pokemon franchise. With its casual whodunit narrative, vibrant colors, and a touch of novelty, the game successfully carved a niche for itself amidst the vast collection of Pokemon games. As Detective Pikachu™ and his iconic herringbone hat reprise their roles in the sequel, Detective Pikachu™ Returns, it seems the charm of the first installment has somewhat faded. While the game continues to be a pleasing, colorful, and sweet adventure with a mostly satisfying conclusion, certain aspects of the gameplay have unfortunately taken a step backwards.

The Mystifying Downside of Detective Pikachu™ Returns

One significant downside of Detective Pikachu™ Returns is the simplicity of mystery solving. The puzzles are easier compared to the first game, making the gameplay feel long-winded and slightly frustrating. Gathering clues has become a straightforward process, often prompting players to deduce their meanings with Pikachu's guidance. This oversimplification of the game mechanics might appeal to younger players, but for those who enjoyed the challenges offered by the first game, this is a disappointing change.

Besides the gameplay, the art style of Detective Pikachu™ Returns is another letdown. Despite being a game for the Switch, Detective Pikachu™ Returns visually resembles a 3DS game more than its predecessor, which was actually a 3DS game! The facial animations are limited, with characters possessing just a couple of expressions, which dampens the emotional impact of the narrative. The charm and visual appeal that the first game had seems to be missing in this sequel.

User Impressions and Final Thoughts

Despite these criticisms, Detective Pikachu™ Returns continues to hold its appeal for many users. The vibrant colors and smooth character animations are a delightful improvement over the first game, and Pikachu’s adorable antics continue to bring smiles to the faces of players. However, the game's simpler gameplay and dark storylines have left many users confused about its intended audience.

While some users appreciate the more laidback style of the game, others, particularly adults who grew up with Pikachu, find the mature themes of the second half jarring in contrast to the overly simplistic gameplay. The game's basic mechanics and lackluster visuals also draw criticism from many players.

In conclusion, while Detective Pikachu™ Returns has its merits and moments of charm, it seems to have lost some of the magic that made its predecessor a standout. The game remains a cute and bubbly adventure, but the lack of challenging gameplay and underwhelming visuals make for a less than stellar return of our beloved detective.